Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ton And A Half.

With some time available this afternoon I nipped over to Cresswell to put the Spoonbill onto the county year list and bring up the ton and a half. Lethargic, sleepy, inactive, it must have had a rough Friday night, I had to zoom up to 60x to check it was alive and not somebodies idea of a joke. The only other birder in the hide, Joe Haslam who provided another tick for another list, assured me it had been active not long before I arrived. The repetitive 'TweepTweep Tweep Tsissi' of the male Reed Bunting below carried on unabated in front of the hide all the while.

Reed Bunting, male, Cresswell Pond.
A Greenshank on the sand bar was the exact opposite of the big white job, feeding with zeal. Still short on lens length, the crop below is purely for record and as good as I can achieve at that distance. Two Common Sandpiper on the west point added to the wader-fest.

Common Greenshank, Cresswell Pond.

After faffing around a little with camera settings at Snab Point and getting wet feet chasing after butterflies (Ringlet & Painted Lady) I headed to Newbiggin for a half hour glance at the sea. Two Manx Shearwater north and a drop in flock of 35 Common Scoter the highlights here. Using the smaller of the two lens I tried a little handheld dodgyscoping again more just to see what sort of quality (or not) could be achieved at a distance of c100m.

Common Scoter, Newbiggin.

Last port of call was Woodhorn Pond, bird life here was limited to breeders with my first Tufted Duck brood of the year noted. It was nice to get my second Stonecrop of the week, growing on the tarmac of the old road, this one is English Stonecrop and is probably an escape this far north.

English Stonecrop, Woodhorn Pond.

Compensation for the lack of bird life was a large number of Damselflies on the wing. Now BC (before camera) I may not have noticed these. Like my Moths I have had to identify them post event but again the Internet comes up trumps and The British Dragonfly Society (link in the side bar) has a good ID guide that even a novice like me can follow. I managed three species of Damselfly on the wing Emerald, Blue-Tailed & Common Blue although my one image of the latter species is out of focus so not worth posting. Just about to leave and JGS arrived closely followed by Stephen Sheppard(second birder tick of the day) to set the nerves jangling as JGS has the uncanny knack of finding good birds five minutes after I've gone home, Ive lost count of the number of times it's happened.

Emerald Damselfly, female, Woodhorn Pond.

Blue-Tailed Damselfly, male, Woodhorn Pond.

Epic Life & Death Struggle, Woodhorn Pond.

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